Animal Kingdom 
A nature experience of a special kind

The most important habitat of the fauna between Hamburg and Wittenberge is the comparatively partially developed Elbe with the adjoining pre-dyke areas on which mud and pioneer fields, small waterbodies, reeds, meadows and softwood forests represent important fauna habitats. The tributaries are also important for the existence and distribution of many endangered species.


The area is known for migrating and hibernating bird species. The wide fields and grassland areas of the river landscape are very attractive for these particularly protected large birds. In autumn and winter, thousands of bean and white-fronted geese, as well as whooper and tundra swans, find food for their winter stay or for the onward flight. Many ornithologists and birdwatchers visit the river landscape, solely because of this natural spectacle. Brooding and disturbance-sensitive large bird species such as black stork, white-tailed eagle and crane are at home here.


Nevertheless, the great bittern, the common shelduck, the corncrake, the spotted and water rail and the common sandpiper are also to be found here.
Noteworthy and nationally significant is also the existence of the white stork, which reaches in the area of the lower Middle Elbe with about 300 pairs, the highest settlement density in Central Europe.

After it was going almost extinct in Europe in the middle of the 19th century, the beaver has retaken its territory on the Elbe. It lives mainly in the area of the softwood forests and also uses the rivers and their tributaries as migratory passages. The Eurasian otter is also represented in the region, but only in a small number.

The Elbe and its tributaries are also of particular importance for the fish as habitat and migratory passage. Among them, the existence of the asp, the spined loach, the European bullhead, the white-finned gudgeon, the river and brook lamprey is to be highlighted. The sea lamprey and the salmon are also represented in the Elbe.


If you want to know more about the wildlife of the region and to see the fish and the beaver live we recommend you to check the natural history exhibition in the Biosphaerium of the Elbe Floodplain in the castle of Bleckede: www.biosphaerium.de

(Source: The Biosphere Reserve of the Elbe River Landscape - Mecklenburg-West Pomerania)